One would think Ron Paul and not Mitt Romney had won the Florida 2012 Republican primary.
Based on his reception on Tuesday during his primary night speech, the Texas congressman still has more than enough grassroots appeal to carry him through to the caucus states, where he has been focusing much of his attention for the past week.
After thanking his irate, tireless minority for sticking with him, Paul reiterated his promises to fight for a smaller government and to reform both America's economic policies and its foreign policy. He also urged his followers to spread the word: change is coming.
They're awakening to this, and they're listening to this message, Paul said of the rest of the population. It's up to us to do something about it.
Ron Paul placed fourth in the Florida primary with 7 percent of the vote. He is already setting up camp in Colorado today, along with fellow GOP candidate Rick Santorum, and will be making frequent visits to Nevada, Maine and Minnesota in anticipation of their February caucuses.
Full Text of Ron Paul's Florida Primary Speech:
RON PAUL: Thank you! Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you.
CROWD: Ron Paul! Ron Paul! Ron Paul! Ron Paul! Ron Paul!
RON PAUL: Thank you very much. Thank you. Well, if enthusiasm wins elections, we win hands down.
RON PAUL: This is great. This is very nice, and thank you very much for coming out. You know, just a little while ago I called Gov. Romney and congratulated him, and we had a friendly little--
RON PAUL: No, we had a--
CROWD: [Booing louder]
RON PAUL: No, no. We had a friendly little conversation, and I honestly congratulate him. He ran a good campaign. But I also said I would see him soon in the caucus states!
CROWD: [Loud Cheers]
RON PAUL: You know, we've been having a fantastic trip. And not too long ago, a few days ago, we were up in Maine. Fantastic reception up in Maine.
Today we had three visits up in Colorado and they were fantastic. We visited with and we probably had attendance with well over 5,000 today in Colorado. And it looks like we have a few hundred here tonight, to say the least!
RON PAUL: A thousand people!
Now I, uh, a few months ago there were, how many candidates were there? Nine? We're down to four, but tonight I saw a statistic, we're in third place when it comes to delegates. And that's what really counts!
RON PAUL: And we've only gotten started! Now the counting really occurs!
Now, and we will spend our time in the caucus states, because if you have an irate, tireless minority you do well in a caucus state!
But there's something else that [a] caucus state lends itself to, 'cause if you have an energized group of people that are working in a campaign, and actually believe in something, it's better to work in the caucus states!
RON PAUL: This is what's been so fantastic with the campaign. I've been doing a little bit of campaigning for liberty, for a long time.
But let me tell ya, something big is happening in this country, and it's all very favorable. There's a mess up in Washington. They've created a mess. They've given us a lousy foreign policy, they've given us a lousy budget, and they've given us a lousy recession.
But where the wonderful thing is happening is in the grassroots. People are beginning to realize that the problem is too much government, we need more personal liberty!
RON PAUL: And this is where we're winning the hearts and minds of people, and the numbers are growing.
I'll tell you what, there is many brushfires of freedom being lit across this country today. We don't even know where they are, they are so many. But it is being translated into great enthusiasm and change, the change that we need.
We don't need to have more government we need to get rid of some of the ornery process of the government, we, uh, for instance, don't you think it's about time we had a new monetary policy?
CROWD: [Chanting] End the Fed! End the Fed! End the Fed! End the Fed!
RON PAUL: End the Fed, right! End it!
CROWD: End the Fed! End the Fed! End the Fed! End the Fed!
RON PAUL: And would we have to invent something new, all we would have to do is read the Constitution. They tell us exactly what we're supposed to have!
RON PAUL: And what about a foreign policy? We need a foreign policy, but do we have to invent it? No, all we have to do is read the Constitution, which, we need a strong national defense, we don't need to be the policeman of the world, and very simply we should reject and not get engaged in any more wars that aren't declared properly and supported by the people!
You know, I've gotten some advice on the Internet every once in a while, and the advice is, Ron, if you would just change your foreign policy you would get a few supporters!
RON PAUL: If they only knew that the support for the Freedom Movement comes with a sound economic and a sound foreign policy that makes sense!
Very simply, very simply it means bringing all our troops home and stopping all these undeclared, unwinnable wars!
RON PAUL: Now, what would this do for our economies? I'd like to see the troops spending their money here at home and not going over there--
RON PAUL: But in the last ten years, fighting these unwinnable, undeclared wars, we have spent over four trillion dollars more into debt for this.
RON PAUL: So it is a cost of life and limb but there is an economic cost as well. And the American people are tired of it, and they're ready because they know this country is bankrupt.
All great nations go down because they overextend themselves overseas. So I would say it's time for us to wake up. Don't wait for an economic crisis to hit when we have to come wimping home.
We oughta just wise up, spend our money wisely, defend this country, and don't pretend that we can tell other people how to live!
RON PAUL: The greatest, the greatest danger when we accept the notion that the government's supposed to take care of us from cradle to grave, and we're supposed to be the policeman of the world is that ultimately it is done at the expense of personal liberty.
The purpose of all governments should be the protection of individual liberty for each and every one of us!
RON PAUL: We need to reverse the trend of the attack on our civil liberties, we need to repeal the Patriot Act, we need to repeal--
RON PAUL: We need to repeal the provision that the president has the authority to assassinate American citizens without trial--
RON PAUL: We need to repeal the provision that says the president can use the military to arrest any American citizen and deny them a trial!
RON PAUL: Very simply, the answer is, send only people to Washington, send only people to the White House, send only people who know and understand and read the Constitution, and enforce the Constitution!
CROWD: [Cheering] Ron Paul! Ron Paul!
RON PAUL: Then there would be, then we would have the full understanding, how you have a peaceful, thriving nation as you enforce the concept of liberty.
Enforce the liberty for each and every one of us, equally. This brings people together because people will use their liberty in different matters, but we don't have to fight over how they use their liberty as long as they assume responsibility for themselves and the consequences of their actions!
RON PAUL: It also, it also very simply suggests the fact that if we had a right to our life and our liberty, we should have a right to keep the fruits of our labor as well!
RON PAUL: So we don't have to reinvent something. We can improve on our past, but we had a great past. We had a great Constitution, we had a great middle class, the richest and the biggest middle class ever, and we've undermined it with excessive spending, excessive taxation, a monetary system that is flawed and a foreign policy that is flawed.
So all we have to do is return to our roots, and in this short time, we could have our peace and our prosiperity, and our reliance on ourselves with our personal liberty.
RON PAUL: Not only has this been a great day for the Campaign for Liberty and this process but it's been a great week for the campaign, and believe me, great past four years. Because five, six or seven year or so, they really didn't know exactly what was happening.
But with the crisis that hit, both the economic crisis and the crisis we had four years ago, the realization of the significance they had on our Federal Reserve system as well as our flawed foreign policy, the people know about it.
They're awakening to this, and they're listening to this message. It's up to us to do something about it.
RON PAUL: The message is loud and clear, the enthusiasm is here, but it has to be translated into proper political action. That means attending the caucuses, and send a powerful message to this country that we want our freedoms back, we don't want more government!
Thank you very much!
Full Video of Ron Paul's Florida Primary Speech: